Start with the drums

Rich and I agree on the importance of a consistent sound from track to track on this album. We don’t want to record a collection of singles. Rather, the album should sound coherent, as though recorded like a traditional album: In a series of sessions, in the same studio, by the same musicians.

We expect this will be a challenge for two guys recording 500 miles apart, over 6 months.

More than any other instrument, and especially in full-band arrangements, the drum tracks define the acoustic “space” in which a song sits. A small, constricted drum sound can make a mix sound lifeless, regardless of how much energy there is in the performance. Alternately a big live drum sound can pull the rest of the instruments out into the open.

Further, although Rich and I are used to recording our instrument parts to a click track, music usually sounds more organic when the band follows the natural push and pull of the rhythm section. We want that organic sound!

It makes sense, then, to get the drums sounding great before we record anything else. (This is how it’s done in a traditional album recording session, too. For example, read about Ryan Hewitt recording Stadium Arcadium.)

I’ll be recording all the drum tracks for the album, so at this point, it falls on me to get miking and nail those drum tones!

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